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Volcano-Boarding in Nicaragua
Published on February 16, 2012 by Sara Foss

Over at the Morning News, Christopher R. Graham writes about one of the more insane things I've ever heard of anyone doing: slide down an active volcano on a piece of sheet metal at 55 mph.

Here's an excerpt:

"An hour outside of Léon, in Nicaragua, stands the volcano called Cerro Negro, the most active in the country. Most recent eruption: 1999. Cerro Negro is a polygenetic cinder cone, which means black ash and cinders from past eruptions accumulate up and around the central crater; it grows like an anthill, basically. Prevailing winds are east to west, towards the nearby Pacific coast, making the western slope steep and smooth-ish, where the smallest rocks and most of the ash eventually blow and settle.

In 2002, French cyclist Eric Barone came to Cerro Negro to break the land speed record. The volcano’s 720 meters high; the western slope is 35 degrees near the top, increasing to 41 degrees about halfway down. My trigonometry was always weak but never covered how to measure a convex hypotenuse; let’s say a straight-line distance of one kilometer.

Barone broke the record by traveling 107 miles per hour. Imagine blinking—and at the same time traveling from one end of a football field to the other. I’ve never even been that fast in a car.

Shortly after passing the radar gun, the forks on Barone’s custom bike snapped and he ended up 100 meters past his wrecked frame. During the three-month hospitalization, someone else came to Cerro Negro and broke his record."

I can be a bit of an adrenaline junkie, but I can tell you right now that I will never, ever try volcano-boarding.

Click here to read Graham's piece.

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